Leaving it Behind

So the seller/executor of the estate are leaving behind a few things with the house.

First and most unexcited we have the leftover crappy laminate floor used in the shoddy bathroom remodel. I think they’re two boxes left. It’s destined for craigslist here shortly. It’s a yellow pine lookalike and has no fit in what I plan to do with the house.

 Next we have the deck furniture.

It’s like a mossy green color for the metal frames and pretty blah beige for the slide off umbrella fabric seats. I’m thinking a good DIY project this summer will involve black spray-paint and new bright yellow fabric. We’ll see how low on the To-Do list they’ll end up though. First deck project will be to power wash and seal the actual deck itself.

There’s also this huge wood desk in the basement. I think they left it because they didn’t want to move it. I’m thinking it’ll end up a craft table, because it’s really nothing special to look at. It would be super functional for a cutting table though. In the basement it stays! We’ve got two whole boxes of shingles, which is good because a few need to be replaced. There’s also a Danish table and chair in the basement in need of some TLC, but I’d totally save it from the trash if that’s where they’re sending it. We’ll see.

Also, they have like a whole floors worth of Marmoleum from the kitchen left over. I’m guessing its marmoleum because the previous owner bought the home in the 1980’s, and she has marmoleum cleaner under the sink. This excites me for 2 reasons. Number one being that the floor is newer, therefore not asbestos backed. Number two being it’s not a bad pattern/color, and is pretty expensive and green. Oh Marmoleum, you might play a big part in the kitchen after all. Because if I don’t have to replace you, I won’t. Your mod, green and would save me green.

 If I do however need to remove anything out the house will have a local lab come out and test for A-notso-bestos. But things are looking up, more so than before!

I got to take Brian’s , my boyfriends, Madre out to see the house when I went out for measurements this weekend. She liked it a lot. Also gave me some tips on ripping up doom carpet from the main living spaces. I’m glad it’s not just me that loves the house. I was afraid I was going delusional with house buying powers. To be honest, if you give me any power, I will go delusional with it. We also decided to do a combined birthday at the end of May for Brian and His Mum, which makes it the first official event that will happen at my house.

 I’m freaking out a little bit. My closing is set for the 14th. That’s ten days away! I’ll be proud to rep the young, unmarried, un knocked up, lady, homeowner badge. Do they make those? I think I’m going to puke from all the excitement!

Full Underwritten Approval

So I got my loan.The seller and I agreed on all amendums.Now I just have to wait until closing. April 15th cannot get her fast enough!Anyone that wants to help with:DemolitionRefinishingMovingOr just be my background noise while I do all of this, Will be payed greatly in pizza and beers.

Lead Pipe Drama

I finally heard back from the sellers as to my request for improvements on the property. I had requested all outlets be converted into GFCI, a termite treatment, and to replace the one and only lead pipe in the house, the water main.

They came back with and addendum to the addendum. All go on everything but the lead pipe. They were quoted 2,800 to replace it.

Let me repeat.

make it rain on those certified plumbers

2,800 Dollars.

Is this one of the first joys of home ownership? Luckily I’m pretty sure my Papa Bumpkins is willing to help me out. Something about not wanting Grandchildren any more deformed than necessary? No worry about my brain cells though, I guess hopes long gone for that.

Refinishing 100 year old hardwood floors : Carpet recycling & choosing a greener finish

One of the most important things to me in this renovation is trying to stay as green and environmentally friendly during the whole process. I want to really consider what materials and chemicals I’ll be including in my home.

The second most important thing being cost effectiveness.  Green and cost effective don’t always go hand in hand now a days. So I’ve been trying to find a good balance between the two for my first home project.


I assume you’re familiar with the doomcarpet in the living and dining rooms of the house?  The absolute second I get those keys I’m ripping that bad boy up. I haven’t called The city of Cincinnati to see if they can handle recycling carpet, but if not there’s several companies in the area that will do it for a fee. Cincinnati did just get a killer new recycling plant, so I’m pretty sure they would be able to handle the job. I wonder if I cleaned the carpet maybe Building Resources would be willing to take it as well. Someones gotta be lusting over red carpets right? Hell, if I can find a piece worth saving maybe I’ll even get it bound at home depot and make an area rug. I highly doubt that any part is untouched by kitty juice though.

more pleasant kitty juice

Once the carpet is recycled or reused the hard part starts. I’m going to tackle refinishing the almost 100 year old floors by myself. Having looked into it since I put the offer in on the house I’m pretty sure I can handle it. While it won’t be a total walk in the park, lots of cleaning and sanding in between steps. It’ll be a good judge of whether or not I’ll be able to DIY larger projects in the house, or whether I fold and hire those out to contractors.  I’ve got faith in me though.

I’ve got it narrowed down to three choices as far as finishing the floors goes.

1) Tung Oil

2) Hard Wax Oil

3) Soy based polyurethane

1) Tung Oil

So Far this is what I’m leaning towards. It’s what could have been used on these floors originally. It’s a completely natural product, derived from nut of the tung tree. It’s a drying oil that hardens on contact to air. Touch up with tung oil is super easy. You just apply the oil to the area that needs it and it will blends seamlessly with the original finish. No sanding or stripping required, which is a serious plus.

There are several variations of Tung oil available today.


(around 115.00 a gallon) sells a version that has  more “stuff” added to it, and is the most expensive. I haven’t been able to figure out what other ingredients they’re adding, but usually that means I don’t want to know. Plus their VOC content must be pretty bad seeing as you can’t buy it in a lot of places for their VOC’s.  So Far this one is pretty much a no go for me.

Polymerized Tung Oil

(about 86.00 a gallon) is when they cook tung oil to the point of it’s highest threshold.  It results in the tung oil dryer to a harder and more durable finish. It does have extra solvents added though. But as per the website the website of  sutherlandwelles.com

    “Our polymerization process helps to lower the toxicity of our Tung oil finish as it improves the curing ability     of the oil, reducing the need for additional chemical dryers.  The driers that are used in the formulations have been researched and found to be of the lowest toxicity available.  The Polymerized Tung Oil must also be formulated with solvents to thin the oil to maximize its workability and penetration.  We use the purest solvents available, reducing the environmental impact and minimizing a finisher’s exposure to toxic fumes and chemicals.  When the formulation is complete, the result is a Polymerized Tung Oil finish that is both finisher-friendly and environmentally responsible.”

Another plus is that I can buy this locally, which means no shipping, so this would be my  least expensive options

100% Pure Tung Oil

available (1 gallon is about 46.00, but with the gallon of citrus solvent it would be  more around 100 .00) through realmilkpaint.com is exactly as sounds. It’s 100% the real deal. Nothing added. You do have to cut it with a solvent, but luckily realmilkpaint.com offers an all natural citrus solvent. While completely natural, this would be probably the most expensive after shipping costs, but it’s the most green.

2) Hard Wax Oil

“OSMO Polyx-Oil (the original Hardwax Oil) is our favorite floor finish and is made from natural oils and         waxes. Key ingredients in Hardwax Oil include sunflower, soybean and thistle oil, plus two hard, natural         waxes—carnauba and candelilla. A Brazilian palm tree, Copernica cerifera, produces the carnauba in its         leaves, berries and stalks. Villagers cut down fronds, dry them for several days, and then beat off the wax.         The candelilla comes from the outer coating on a desert shrub, Euphorbia antisyphiliti, that grows in         northern Mexico. Farmers boil the leaves and stems with water and acid to release the wax”


This for a gallon would be coming close to 150 smackers. It sounds awesome, but that’s way more than the tung oil, and I don’t know if I could buy this locally so shipping would be added to the expense. It’s got all the qualities of tung oil . Unless I can find a deal, locally, I don’t think this is the route I’ll be taking..

3) Soy based polyurethane

I’m pretty sure I can get a low VOC verison locally (for around 50.00 a gallon). I might take this route if after I sand the floors if I really like the natural state. This would be one of the easiest to apply, and should have the strongest finish. But if I did need to repair any spots on the floor, this would be the hardest. Sanding would be required. Which I hate.

I think that I’ll end up either doing an option of number 1, or number 3. It really just depends on how nice the floors are after I sand them. I have a feeling I’ll go with Tung oil though. I guess we’ll see.

The Listing Photos

This is the house I’m in the process of purchasing. It’s a 1923 cape cod, that was sadly renovated in the late 80’s. So my plan as far as my own renovations, since little of the original 20’s charm is in the house,is that I’m making it my own Mod Cape Cod.

Here’s the front of the home. It’s got a simple facade, but I can work with that. I don’t like the vinyl siding aesthetically, but practically it makes sense. That’s something I’ll just have to save for if I want to replace. The front porch, which has oak planks lurking beneath that awful excuse of a carpet, is nice. I even really like the swing, but I think that’s just the southern girl in me. It has the original front door with the corrugated glass. Someone painted it what I can only describe as the color of a tongue. It’s pretty sad looking. But maybe if I can strip the paint off there might be something nice underneath. If not, I’d be more than content to paint the front door yellow.

Ladies and Gents, check out that red carpet of DOOM. Seriously, who thought this was a good idea? Also the previous owner had cats, carpet and cats never mix. The good part about this carpet is that it’s not even stapled down. It’s basically just set over a floor pad and tucked under the shoe molding. Underneath are the original oak hardwood floors. The first thing I’m doing after closing is ripping doomcarpet out and DIY refinishing the hardwood. Carpet, always a bad idea.

These are the two bedrooms, the large cave like one is the loft. it’s a 10×34 second floor with a ceiling that could be a frame and beam heaven. If not for those pretty disgusting acoustic tiles. Plans for that are paint EVERYTHING white, floors included, and one day gut and throw an open bath in there. Instant master bedroom. Until I save up the mucho monies that will be needed, painting will suffice for now. The second bedroom is a box, with a closet. the floors will be refinished the same time as the others under the carpet. I don’t know how to tackle the AC stuck in the wall though, the house has brand new central air, so it’s obviously got to go. I’m just not sure how to go about it. I’m thinking about throwing a bed in there for guests, aka my parents, and making it my dressing room and or sewing room. I might do the latter in the basement though, we’ll see.

The bathroom. Which is pretty wrong. When the previous owners did the remodel they cut the floor joist under the potty , which hasn’t sagged yet, but it will. So that’s the first thing to fix. Also instead of just keeping the clawfoot that was in there they built a tile wall fight in front of the window leaving like a foot of space inbetween. I plan on at least knocking it to a half wall until I get money to redo the whole bathroom. It’s got some pretty hideous laminate wood flooring in a pine yellow. One day black penny tile will look amazing in there.

Ah the kitchen. I’ll be at very least painting everything white after move in. The linoleum floors could be asbestos, so until that’s confirmed they stay as they are. Then based on the results of said asbestos they might be torn up, or tiled over. The door leads out to a pretty bitchin’ back deck. Althought the photos don’t show it, the yard is huge by city standerds.

The back view of the house, the yard isn’t dead. just dormant. They didn’t photo any of the amazing trees in the yard. Lots of gardening and yard work, we’ll see how that goes.

Wish me luck, Paige